Morel mushrooms are one of the most delicious—and fleeting—signs of spring, and this one-pan dish is a decadent way to usher in the new season. In it, tender whole chicken legs are finished in a creamy sauce that's layered with the flavors of morels, herbs and white wine. Round out the meal with a salad of mixed greens, oven-roasted potatoes or rice pilaf for an impressive dinner-party menu.
Season the chicken generously all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering and just starting to smoke, add the chicken skin-side down and cook until golden brown all over, flipping halfway through, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat and add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are soft and the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, gently stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms begin to release liquid, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and thyme and bring back to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, skin-side up, along with any juices from the plate and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Swirl in the cream and return the mushroom mixture to the pan. Simmer (uncovered) over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on a serving plate, spoon the mushroom sauce over and sprinkle with chives.
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